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Self study Multivariable Calculus or Introduction to Proofs?

  1. Jul 29, 2010 #1
    Hello. I was wondering if I should self study multivariable calculus or introduction to proofs?

    I am an entering high school senior (contrary to what my username might suggest), and I just took a Calc 2 class last spring.

    I can only do one or the other, and I don't know which one would be the best to spend my time on.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2010 #2
    I think you should do linear algebra first
  4. Jul 29, 2010 #3
    I was thinking about that, but I heard LA deals with proofs and I don't know if I can handle that at this stage. I haven't been exposed to "proof-type" math yet so I was wondering maybe I can self study "Intro to Proofs".

    And I can't take classes at a local university/CC anymore because we recently moved and I'm not in close proximity of such schools.
  5. Jul 29, 2010 #4
    We don't have an intro to proof course at my college. People go from multivariate calculus right to real analysis, which is the first proof-based course for many people. I think many people find that they don't really need a whole course on proofs before being able to tackle the proofs in a class like analysis.

    So I guess, based on that, I would take multivariate calculus first. You don't really need linear algebra to do multivariate calculus, but I think linear algebra helps you visualize things better.

    You also don't need to be good at proofs in order to understand first-semester linear algebra. The ideas kind of build up by themselves.
  6. Jul 29, 2010 #5
    So should I do linear algebra?
  7. Jul 29, 2010 #6
    I don't think it really matters.
  8. Jul 29, 2010 #7
    I think when you get to line integrals, vector fields, green's theorem, and just really, the whole vector section and lagrange multipliers, it helps, as in just another method, but no it isn't needed.
  9. Jul 31, 2010 #8
    You don't have to do LA to pass Calc III, but you do need it if you actually want to understand what is going on.
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